CBC revealed Wednesday morning its 2019-20 slate of original programming including 32 returning series across all genres and aims to showcase diverse Canadian voices and perspectives. “As Canada’s public broadcaster, we are committed to building stronger relationships with Canadians of all ages by providing them with relevant and engaging content across all genres and platforms,” said Barbara Williams, Executive Vice-President, English Services, CBC. “It is more important than ever that we better reflect more of the country we serve and connect a broader range of Canadians to their communities, their country and the rest of the world.”
Some returning favorites to the CBC schedule (which can be seen below) include Diggstown, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, When Calls the Heart and Workin’ Moms. These series join the previously announced returns from Coroner, Schitt’s Creek, Still Standing, Baroness von Sketch Show and Kim’s Convenience.
It was also announced that two of the co-creators, executive producers and stars of CBC’s critically acclaimed and award-winning Baroness von Sketch Show – Aurora Browne and Carolyn Taylor – join The Great Canadian Baking Showas hosts for the upcoming third season. Bruno Feldeisen returns to the judge’s table, joined by esteemed Toronto-born pastry chef and entrepreneur Kyla Kennaley, best known for launching the acclaimed commercial bakery Madeleines Cherry Pie and Ice Cream.
Actor and comedian Gerry Dee (Mr. D) will also host Family Feud Canada. One of television’s longest-running and top-rated game shows watched by audiences around the world, it comes to CBC and will showcase Canadian families from across the country as they compete to guess the most popular answers to fun, family-friendly survey questions from a sample of Canadians.
CBC also announced the return of Battle of the Blades which pairs athletes from two of Canada’s favourite sports — figure skating and hockey — as they pair up in a live, high-stakes figure skating competition for the charity of their choice. Canadian icons Ron MacLean of Hockey Night in Canada and Rogers Hometown Hockey and four-time Canadian and four-time World champion figure skater Kurt Browning will return for the new season as host and head judge, respectively, while beloved Olympic ice dance champions, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, will appear as guest judges. Participating in the competition are hockey players Sheldon Kennedy and Natalie Spooner and figure skaters Vanessa James and Violetta Afanasieva.
New CBC original television comedy and drama series announced today for the 2019-20 season include:
TALLBOYZ (8×30, Fall 2019 – Accent Entertainment): features the four members of acclaimed Toronto-based sketch comedy troupe TallBoyz II Men – Tim Blair, Guled Abdi, Franco Nguyen, and Vance Banzo – as they alternate between playing heightened versions of themselves and sliding into absurd sketches about friendship, politics, bro culture and everyday life. Executive producers are Bruce McCulloch (The Kids in the Hall, Young Drunk Punk) and Susan Cavan (The Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town, Young Drunk Punk).
FORTUNATE SON (8×60, Winter 2020 – Seven24 Films and Lark Entertainment): from the producers of Heartland and the producers of Motive, is a spy drama set in the social and political chaos of 1968, inspired by a true story. Pursued into Canada by the FBI, the matriarch of an American activist family helps smuggle Vietnam war deserters and draft dodgers across the border. What she doesn’t know is that one of the deserters is an agent of the CIA sent to spy on her. Created by Andrew Wreggitt (Jack, Borealis (Survival Code) who also serves as showrunner, the series is executive produced by Tom Cox , Jordy Randall and Erin Haskett . Stefan Schwartz (The Americans, Dexter) is the show’s lead director.
THE SOUNDS (8×60, 2020 – Canada/New Zealand co-production, Shaftesbury and South Pacific Pictures): is a striking take on the relationship-driven thriller. Welcome to Pelorus Sounds, New Zealand – the sleepy settlement where nothing, including the visiting Cabbotts, is quite what it seems. Grieving wives, cheating husbands, epic embezzlement and historic crime all collide to weave a complicated web stretching through the Sounds’ hidden valleys and deep waters. Created by New Zealand-based author Sarah-Kate Lynch and directed by Peter Stebbings (Frankie Drake Mysteries, The Disappearance).
THE TRICKSTER (6×60, 2020 – Sienna Films): adapted from the ‘Son of a Trickster’ trilogy of books by award-winning author Eden Robinson and co-created by Michelle Latimer (Rise, The Inconvenient Indian) and Tony Elliott (12 Monkeys, Orphan Black), The Trickster is a darkly humorous coming-of-age story — a mash-up of dysfunctional family drama and supernatural thriller. The series follows Jared, an Indigenous teen struggling to keep his family above water when a mysterious stranger, Wade, blows into town and turns his already chaotic life inside out. And when weird things start happening, it becomes clear that he’s also the mythic magical being the Trickster. What begins as an unnerving slow burn of strange events in Jared’s already-messy life crescendos to an epic clash of magic, monsters and mayhem.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.